Marketing • Management • Operations • Business Tips • Technician Tips • Productivity • 60 minutes

Risk taking opens doors, including garage doors, says Atlanta’s Ryan Lucia

February 2, 2021

Episode Overview

“I will protect our company culture at all costs.”

— Ryan Lucia

Before getting into the trades to open Aaron Overhead Doors in Atlanta, Ryan Lucia was a software executive. An entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses—including a marketing agency—Lucia decided he wanted to go blue-collar. He talks about marketing his own 12-person garage-door business, creating the perfect company culture, and the importance of risk-taking in business.

Here are Ryan Lucia’s top home-services business tips:

Specialization is important.

You can buy a cheap garage door in Atlanta for $500, but it works better for Lucia’s business to zero in on jobs that are no less than $1,500, which may call for things like high-end, modern glass. “We focus our attention on high-end garage doors,” Lucia says. “In this industry, there’s a low barrier of entry, so there are a lot of garage-door people out there.” 

Don’t just be a salesperson, be a design specialist.

Lucia says his competition mainly focuses on sending technicians to people’s homes to simply sell them a door. “I prefer to help people pick out styles and narrow down options,” he says. Aaron Overhead Doors has a van that’s been converted into a mobile design showroom, staffed by a design consultant.

If you’re a family business, use that in your branding. 

The fact that Aaron Overhead Doors is a family-run small business was integrated into the company’s marketing for a purpose. “Especially here in the South, people love to hire and support small businesses,” Lucia says. “Sure, you want to make your company look as big as possible. But on the website, I do sprinkle in more of a family atmosphere.” 

There’s nothing more important than company culture. 

Lucia oversees company culture like a momma bear protecting her cubs. “I will protect our company culture at all costs,” he says. “If anything threatens the culture in our organization, I will shut it down. When I hire people, I tell them my No. 1 goal for them is to make the culture better. It’s like family, and we take care of one another.”

Be transparent with financials with your team. 

Lucia says being open presses home the point that the company is in operation to make a profit, and also reinforces the idea that the company is one big team. “We’re very transparent as a leadership team,” Lucia says. “We share our financials with the group. We talk to them about profit and loss. We show them our numbers month to month.” 

Integrating ServiceTitan is a huge plus. 

“We have a 32-point inspection that’s required on every repair that has to be done in ServiceTitan,” Lucia says. Included with that, every salesperson must offer multiple quotes—the good, better and best approach. Lucia says that strategy has single-handedly raised the company’s average profit and revenue per job. 

Doing a podcast helps brand yourself in an industry. 

Lucia found that there wasn’t a podcast that was a really good source of information for the garage-door industry. He also noticed there were a lot of people on Facebook having conversations about garage doors, so it was easy for him to find people to interview. “Doing the Torsion Talk podcast brands me in the industry and brings awareness to my marketing company, too.”

Do things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Every year, Lucia tries to do at least three big, daunting things that make him uncomfortable—things that ask Why? “I just think we become automated too much, and then we don’t process things properly,” he says. “My staff doesn’t love this as much as I do. But if something isn’t working and we’ve tried it in every way, I’ll shut it down.”

Recommend research and reading

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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